A Dimming Dream Of Retirement In California

KPBS: A Dimming Dream Of Retirement In California (June 19, 2018).

Each month, Rosanne Goodwin scours her one-bedroom apartment outside San Diego for possessions to sell on eBay.

“I’ve sold photo albums,” Goodwin said. “I’ve sold whatever I could that’s just around the house, hand tools that I’ve had since I was in my 20s that my dad had given me for being out on my own. I just look around and wonder what can I sell now that will generate some income?”

California has one of the highest percentages of seniors living in poverty in the United States, behind only Washington DC, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. One in five seniors in California live in poverty, after adjusting for spending on basic necessities.

And the UC Berkeley Labor Center predicts half of Californians currently working are on track to retire with individual incomes of about $24,000 a year, twice the federal poverty figure.

The California Dream of retirement — having enough money to enjoy a carefree life after decades of work — hasn’t lived up to its promise for Goodwin.

Times are lean.

Goodwin receives $2,060 in Social Security benefits each month, a sum that includes disability for the rare form of brain cancer she was diagnosed with a few years ago. But her monthly expenses total $2,400 a month.

“It’s heartbreaking,” said Kevin Prindiville, executive director for Justice In Aging, a national advocacy group for seniors. “Seniors are the people who cared for us. They’re the people who built our communities, who taught our kids, who worked in our hospitals. They really built our cities and our state and now to see them struggling so much just to put food on the table or to have housing, it’s brutal.” Read full article.

Emma Ayers

About Emma Ayers

Emma joined Justice in Aging in December 2014 as a writer and communications associate based in the Oakland, CA office. Emma serves as blog editor for the new Justice in Aging blog and assists with all written content for the organization. She also supports the communication team’s overall engagement and social media strategy.